Cowboys demote Kiffin, add Linehan as play-caller

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 28, 2014 at 9:46 pm •  Published: January 28, 2014
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IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys decided one year with Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator and Bill Callahan as play-caller was enough.

Kiffin was demoted Tuesday in favor of defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, and Scott Linehan was hired as the passing game coordinator who will call plays.

The staff shuffling — the second in as many years — comes after the Cowboys gave up the most yards in franchise history and finished last in the NFL in total defense and had their worst offensive output in yardage since 2005.

"If you look at staffs around this league and rosters all around this league, there's change from year to year," Garrett told The Associated Press. "And the teams that embrace the change are the ones that have the most success and again we feel like from a system standpoint, the systems on offense and the systems on defense, remain in place."

Kiffin and Marinelli came to Dallas together last year after the Cowboys fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and decided to switch to a four-man front with three linebackers following nearly a decade in the 3-4 defense.

Quarterback Tony Romo will have his third play-caller in as many seasons after Garrett had that role in 2012. There was even a change in the middle of this past season when Garrett reinserted himself by relaying the calls from Callahan to Romo.

"It's not really a concern at all," Garrett said. "We've had the same offensive system in place here for seven years. We feel like the transition will be really relatively smooth for everybody."

Garrett is entering the final season of his contract and is coming off three consecutive 8-8 seasons that extended the club's playoff drought to four straight years.

Garrett said Callahan will remain on staff in 2014, also the final year of his contract. He will keep his titles of offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.

"Just like you would with a player, guys are always in roles that tend to evolve and change," Garrett said. "If you have the right kind of guys on your team, they embrace those roles, understand the objective is to try to help our team first and foremost. Bill knows that."

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